Follow TV Tropes


Anime / Nobunaga the Fool

Go To

"Okay, stop me if you've heard this one: Nobunaga Oda, Joan of Arc, Leonardo da Vinci, Magellan and King Arthur walk into a script together, and the director looks at all of them and says, 'THE ONLY WAY THAT THIS IS GOING TO MAKE SENSE IS IF YOU LET ME ADD GUNDAMS!'"

Imagine a Steampunk Space Opera version of the sixteenth century, complete with Humongous Mecha, spaceships, revamped historical figures, and Schizo Tech galore. Now throw in a prophecy involving a "Savior King" who is the only one who can pilot a special Humongous Mecha. Now make that man an incredibly attractive alternate version of Oda Nobunaga. That is Nobunaga The Fool, a stage play and anime created by Shoji Kawamori of Macross fame. The anime, animated by Satelight, began in January of 2014.

Long ago, there were two planets, now known as the Western Planet and the Eastern Planet, bound by the "Dragon Pulse" spanning the heavens. Though the civilization on the planets had once prospered, it soon was torn asunder by the inextinguishable flames of war, as endless battle engulfed both sides. However, there exists "sacred treasures", forgotten super technology that could revolutionize the world order. Sadly no one knew of them...nobody, that is, except for a certain "heretical girl."

Jeanne Kaguya d'Arc, a girl originating from the Western Planet, bore witness to visions of a "Star Messiah," who would be the one save the worlds. Together with Leonardo da Vinci, a man claimed to be "the one who observes the world", Jeanne embarks on a quest to the Eastern Planet. It isn't long before the two come across an Eastern heretic known as "the Greatest Fool of the Day": Oda Nobunaga, who winds up on the helm of an immensely powerful superweapon—one which can only be controlled by the legendary Savior King.

Sentai Filmworks acquired the license for the series.

Nobunaga the Fool contains the tropes of:

  • Adaptational Heroism: While it might be a bit too early to tell, Nobunaga's position as the protagonist does hint that he will be the hero of the story, as opposed to the villain role he is mostly known for in fiction. May also double as a Historical Hero Upgrade.
  • Anachronism Stew: It certainly seems that way with Oda Nobunaga, Joan of Arc, and Leonardo da Vinci all existing together, considering their Real Life counterparts were never alive at the same time.
    • They're actually suggested to be Reincarnations. Somehow it still comes across as this trope.
    • Bows and swords are still used alongside humongous mecha, the West Star has space ships, and guns seem to be a new invention
  • Anyone Can Die: Nobody is safe from death on either the Eastern or Western sides. As an example, by about Episode 22, almost all of King Arthur's Round Table are dead.
    • Of the named major characters, by the final episode, only Mitsuhide, Hideyoshi, Kenshin, Alexander and Magellan are alive.
  • Artistic License Astrophysics—Presumably, the only reason the Eastern and Western planets haven't ripped each other apart via gravitational forces is Rule of Cool. (And possibly a wizard.)
  • Bash Brothers: Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, and Mitsuhide
  • Bittersweet Ending: By the end of the series, the only surviving named characters are Mitsuhide, Hideyoshi, Alexander, and Magellan, and both planets have been ravaged by the conflict. Alexander assumes leadership over the Western Planet while Mitsuhide over the Eastern, with the latter promising to build a world of peace. Far into the future, the reincarnations of Nobunaga and Jeanne reunite.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Nobunaga's arguments with his father on war strategy. Nobunaga is right that they can't afford to cede the initiative to the enemy, but Nobuhide is right that they aren't ready to take the offensive - The Fool is the only high-end weapon they have, and one soldier can't fight a war by himself no matter how good he is.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Leonardo da Vinci. He goes around with a horn around his chest which he uses as a megaphone, immediately steals a ship when Jeanne has a vision that they needed to leave, and in general acts in an over-the-top manner. However, he obviously has a lot of pull in the Western Planet, name dropping King Arthur and warranting escort by an Admiral on the mission to the Eastern Planet.
  • Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": The "horses" that Nobunaga and his companions ride sound like the real thing... but resemble dragons and are ridden like motorcycles.
  • Call to Adventure: Leonardo gives this to Jeanne
  • The Chosen One: Nobunaga
  • Creator Provincialism: Which places and persons belong to which planet can be defined as Japan vs Everywhere else. The Western Planet seems to go as far as India, judging by Chandragupta's existence, and no mention is made of China, outside of Hideyoshi becoming Son Goku, better known as Sun Wukong.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The first opening is sung by Ichihime's voice actress (Minori Chihara).
  • Elemental Powers: Equipping a Giant War Armor with a Regalia allows its pilot/performer to control the element the Regalia represents. Takeda Shingen has a Fire Regalia and Nobunaga in episode 3 receives a Thunder Regalia from Himiko.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Admiral Magellan has one, along with a nice hat
  • Falling into the Cockpit: Nobunaga. However, there's a certain amount of Because Destiny Says So, because the ship is explicitly only pilotable by The Savior King
  • Feudal Future: There's actually a planet with Western feudalism and another with Eastern feudalism.
  • Heroic BSoD: Nobunaga has one early in the first episode. Watching a castle you just tried to save get burned to the ground by enemy mecha will do that to you.
    • He gets into a huge one when his dad was killed by Caesar and another one when Himiko nearly died Taking the Bullet for him while Nobukatsu was dead in the same day.
  • Historical Domain Character: Everywhere. There's also one who's pseudohistorical; the Western Planet is ruled by King Arthur.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Giant War Armors, which vary in design from samurai to medieval knights.
    • To be specific, the Eastern Planet has samurai-esque mecha, while the Western Planet's resemble knights.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Episode names are all based on Tarot cards, namely the card that was drawn during the episode.
  • In-Series Nickname: Nobunaga and Hideyoshi are respectively called "The Fool" and "Monkey"...which was what they were called in real-life, and Jeanne is "The Demon Possessed".
  • Jeanne d'Archétype: The show opens up with the actual Joan of Arc being burnt at the stake and having a vision of Oda Nobunaga, and with him seeing her in his most loyal servant. Then we meet the Joan of the "two stars" world, who has strange visions as well, but is taken seriously enough by some very powerful people to embark on a journey to the eastern star as her visions told her to.
  • Large Ham: Da Vinci. His introduction has him yelling his greetings into a horn to Jeanne.
    • Nobunaga as well, as per standard mecha fare.
  • Magitek: The Western Star has spaceships that fly via Leylines.
  • Mini-Mecha: "War Armors" of the non-giant variety fits as this, standing around 4 or 5 meters tall, whereas Giant War Armors are the size of small mountains.
  • Multiethnic Name: For some reason, Jeanne, a girl of Western origin, beares a name that includes the distinctly Eastern-sounding Kaguya.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The characters' nicknames follow their real-life counterparts.
    • King Arthur's war council is named The Round Table.
    • Lord Shingen's Giant War Armor is named Fuurin Kazan, Takeda Shingen's conquest motto.
    • When Jeanne (as Ranmaru) is trapped in the fire in episode 3, she prays, "Oh Lord, let me hear your voice...".
    • Nobunaga arrived inappropriately dressed at his father's funeral and threw incense at the altar.
    • Hideyoshi made a plan in which a castle was constructed in only one night.
    • Jeanne's regalia has the power to called out a banner that defend the user while reflecting attacks. The real Joan of Arc often carried a banner on the battlefield instead of a sword.
  • Once an Episode: A character (usually Jeanne, but not always) is feeling troubled, and is approached by Leonardo da Vinci. He offers his Tarot deck, they draw the card named in the episode's title, and he explains its meaning and significance to the issue at hand.
  • Plot Twist: Neither Arthur or Nobunaga was the Savior-King. It was Mitsuhide.
  • Psychic Dreams for Everyone: In the opening of the first episode, Jeanne and Nobunaga have dreams of their real life counterparts, as well as of each other.
  • Recycled In Space: The series depicts historical figures... with SPACE ROBOTS!
  • Reincarnation: All the historical figures are suggested to be this; Jeanne and Nobunaga certainly are, interestingly enough, Jeanne is both reincarnation of the historical Jeanne D'Arch AND Mori Ranmaru, Oda Nobunaga's manservant.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: As to not raise problems, Jeanne, serving Nobunaga, is disguised as a man named Mori Ranmaru.
  • Tarot Motifs: Episode titles are from Tarot (ie The Star, the Lovers), and there is a lot of tarot imagery in the episodes themselves. Namely Da Vinci giving out the actual tarot cards.
    • These also extend to the characters. Jeanne is "The Star" to represent her messianic visions. Nobunaga is, predictably, "The Fool" to show how most people dismiss his potential due to his eccentricities.
  • Title Drop: Nobunaga names his mecha "The Fool", resulting in a lot of this.
  • Waif Prophet: Jeanne fits this archetype.